Saturday, Feb. 20th (Vieng Thong [Muang Hiam] to Nong Khiaw)

  • Started the day with several complimentary instant coffees at our guesthouse and a great breakfast of rice, vegetable stirfry, and omelette from the same restaurant as the night before.
  • Hopped on the motorbikes, strapped up, gassed up, then hit the road for a 170km journey to Nong Khiaw.
  • Once again the driving and scenery was incredible.
  • We passed several signs proclaiming, “We are proud to have Tigers,” which made us a bit apprehensive of breaking down on the side of the road.
  • We needn’t have worried, everything went smoothly.  
  • We took several ridgeline passes over the mountains with stunning views of the jungle below.  Every now and then a small cottage or dirt road would break up the view of dense foliage.
  • As we dropped down from the mountain tops into Nong Khiaw, the view became even more magnificent.  Sheer limestone cliff faces towered over us with trees growing at odd angles and vines hanging down like Tarzan ropes.
  • The village of Nong Khiaw is nestled against a river in this incredible valley.
  • We checked into Bamboo Paradise Guesthouse and paid 50K Kip ($6) for a riverside bungalow with thatched wooden walls, one big bed, a (relatively) clean bathroom, and mosquito net.
  • Spent the next hour exploring the town before dark, then had a delicious Indian dinner at Deen Restaurant and Cafe.
  • We returned to our guesthouse and spent the rest of the night reading, writing, and catching up with friends and family back home.

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